El Clasico's set for November, April

2015-07-15 12:03
Real Madrid (AFP)

Madrid - Spain's new league season will kick off on the weekend of August 23, with "clasico" clashes between Real Madrid and Barcelona in November and April, the football federation said Tuesday.

The headline clashes between the arch rivals will come on the weekends of November 8 in Madrid and April 3 in Barcelona, the Royal Spanish Football Federation said after the draw at its headquarters.

League champions Barcelona will look to defend their Spanish league and cup titles as well as their European Champions league crown after a stunning triple last season.

They have a busy start to the new season with away and home ties against Athletic Bilbao on August 14 and 17 respectively in the Spanish Supercopa.

That trophy pits the league champions against the winners of the Copa del Rey - or in this case the runners-up, since Barca won that title too.

Barca and Athletic will then meet again for their first league match in Bilbao on the weekend of August 22-23.

The last league games will be played on May 15, 2016.

Real Madrid, league runners-up this year in a disappointing trophyless season, will play their first match of the league against newly promoted side Sporting Gijon.

Third-place Atletico Madrid will play their first league match against another newly promoted side, Las Palmas.

The end of last season's Liga was nearly thrown into chaos when players and the federation threatened to strike over a new television broadcasting deal.

They demanded that more of the revenues from auctioning the rights to lucrative Liga games be redistributed to smaller clubs. The strike was called off after a court ruled it illegal.

In a speech before Tuesday's draw, RFEF President Angel Maria Villar repeated his complaint that the federation's demands were not listened to in the television dispute.

"We have been trampled on," he told federation officials.

League head Javier Tebas has alleged that the strike threat was a smokescreen in a dispute between the RFEF and the state over subsidies.

Read more on:    real madrid  |  barcelona  |  la liga  |  soccer

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